Will Small has been practicing law for more than a decade, primarily focusing on civil litigation in state and federal courts throughout California as well as arbitration.  He prides himself on providing his clients with the one-on-one attention and responsiveness they deserve, while also delivering the skills and experience they need to solve their legal problems.

Will’s practice focuses on business, employment and professional liability litigation, from inception through trial.

His business litigation experience includes contract disputes, shareholder derivative actions, partnership disputes, unfair competition laws, trademark, copyright, and other forms of commercial litigation.

In the employment arena, Will has represented clients in cases involving trade secrets theft, non-compete agreements, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, discrimination and other employment disputes.  Will also provides legal advice and counsel on issues such as compliance with California and federal labor laws, employee hiring, employee separations and employment contracts.

Will additionally represents clients in professional liability actions involving attorneys, real estate professionals, corporate officers and directors, financial advisors, insurance professionals and others.

Will is active in the San Diego legal community, serving as Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association's Civil Litigation Executive Committee from 2016-2017.

Prior to joining Schwartz Semerdjian, Will was senior counsel with a large national law firm and then co-founding partner of a his own firm for four years. 

Will grew up in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After a stint as a newspaper journalist, Will graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was an Articles & Notes Editor for the First Amendment Law Review.

Will and his family live in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego with their two young daughters and disobedient corgi.  Will enjoys running and golf.  He has retired from basketball but enjoys cheering on the UNC Tar Heels from a comfortable chair.

education

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., 2003; Journalism & Mass Communication, Political Science)
  • University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., 2007)

memberships

  • American Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law
  • American Inns of Court - Louis M. Welsh Inn, 2015-Present
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • San Diego County Bar Association; 2016-2017 Chair of the Civil Litigation Executive Committee, 2015 Vice Chair of the Civil Litigation Executive Committee
  • State Bar of California
  • University of North Carolina General Alumni Association
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Central Districts of California

awards

  • Rising Stars 2017, Super Lawyers
  • Best of the Bar 2015 and 2016, San Diego Business Journal
  • San Diego County Top Attorney in Corporate Litigation 2015, San Diego Daily Transcript

Related News

12.10.18

Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Moot is pleased to announce that it has acquired Small & Schena LLP, and that attorneys William F. Small and John A. Schena will be joining the firm as partners effective January 2, 2019.  With a focus on business litigation, employment law, intellectual property and related practice areas, Small and Schena will add nearly two decades of combined litigation experience in state and federal courts throughout California to Schwartz Semerdjian’s extensive roster of expertise. 

“We couldn’t be more excited about Will and John joining our firm,” said Managing Partner Ross Schwartz.  “John actually started his career with our firm in 2009 as a law clerk. When he left to join Will in 2014, we continued to work with both of them and are thrilled that things have come full circle and they are joining Schwartz Semerdjian.  They are both exceptional attorneys and great people, and will make a welcome addition to our team.”

Schwartz Semerdjian will continue its extensive practice in civil trial and appellate practice in state and federal courts, with an emphasis in business and commercial litigation, employment litigation and labor counseling, construction litigation, personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, officers and directors liability, professional liability, insurance defense, intellectual property, including trademark and copyright, and unfair competition litigation.

William F. Small - Prior to joining Schwartz Semerdjian, William Small was a partner in his own law practice, Small & Schena LLP, and before that served as senior counsel at the San Diego office of Gordon & Rees.  His practice focuses on business and employment litigation as well as professional liability and defamation litigation.  William also advises clients on legal issues ranging from contracts to compliance with employment laws - with the goal of avoiding litigation.   

William is active in the San Diego legal community, serving as Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association's Civil Litigation Executive Committee in 2016 and 2017.  Some of his recent accolades include being named a San Diego County Top Attorney in Corporate Litigation in 2015 by the San Diego Daily Transcript, Best of the Bar in 2015 and 2016 by the San Diego Business Journaland a Rising Star in 2017 by Super Lawyers.

William obtained his Bachelors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law.  He and his family reside in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego.

John A. Schena - John Schena founded Small & Schena LLP with William Small in 2014.  John is a litigator focusing on the resolution of business disputes, with an emphasis on fiduciary duty, contract, privacy law, commercial torts, trade secret, trademark, and copyright matters.  He has successfully prosecuted and defended actions to final judgment on behalf of both public and private entities, as well as individuals, throughout California.  He has extensive experience with bench and jury trials, as well as arbitration and administrative law proceedings.

John has dedicated pro bono hours to the formation and assistance of many local nonprofits, including sitting on the board of directors of CompassionIt and Bosh Bosh.  A frequent contributor to Trial Bar News, the monthly periodical of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, John has written articles regarding identification of misappropriated trade secrets in litigation, managing the costs of discovery, the scope of the attorney-client privilege, and effective summary judgment practice.  Some of his recent accolades include being named a Rising Star in 2016, 2017, and 2018 by Super Lawyers, being recognized as a Super Lawyer in 2019, and being named to the Best of the Bar 2015 and 2017 by the San Diego Business Journal.

John obtained his Bachelors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law.  He, his fiancé, and sonlive in the San Diego neighborhood of South Park.

About Schwartz Semerdjian

Schwartz Semerdjian specializes in business counseling and transactional services in corporate and entity formation, real estate, business sales and acquisitions, employment, landlord/tenant, commercial, licensor/licensee, and probate, trusts and estate planning.